In-Person, On-Site Professional Development Workshops
An effective method that initiates communication, assists in building relationships, encourages students to share prior knowledge and addresses conflict in the classroom, the school and the community. Restorative Justice Circles can be used as assessment tools in the classroom and serve as an alternate approach to traditional suspensions and expulsions. In the classroom, they can be used as alternatives to address conflict. Participants will learn both best practices and roles to help students move conflicts smoothly to resolutions, as well as ways to use these circles as forms of assessment.
Students can’t learn if they don’t feel safe. This workshop uses this idea as ground zero and focuses on what teachers and administrators can do to make sure all students experience an environment in which they can thrive. Participants will discuss and identify elements of supportive classroom settings focusing on engagement, environment, and safety. From there, they will engage in a variety of activities that they can utilize in their own classrooms. Major points and best practices on creating safe spaces for inclusivity of all students (including LGBTQ+) will also be a focus area.
This workshop begins with a discussion about the definitions of “school culture” and “school discipline” before delving deeper into how establishing a positive school culture is crucial to high student achievement while it also can decrease the need for student discipline. This course will take a look at the components of both positive and negative cultures, before giving participants hands-on practice to develop strategies that can be immediately applied. Both teachers and administrators will walk away with a toolkit of positive classroom and school culture best practices that will make students excited about themselves, learning, and success.
We will begin the program by introducing what the approach is and how it came to be. The workshop will begin with the teacher’s consideration of his/her own perspectives of critical race theory. Next, the workshop presenter will describe Gloria Ladson-Billings and other authorities’ perspectives of the fields of culturally relevant pedagogy and the characteristics of a culturally responsive classroom. Participants will workin pairs to review various practices as they identify the characteristics found in each scenario. The workshop will end with each participant considering a present practice and how he/she can revise it to incorporate culturally relevant strategies.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a systematic approach that employs a proactive model that teaches expected behaviors, reinforces and recognizes students who are able to model these behaviors, and has systems in place to support students who present with more challenging behaviors. This workshop focuses on building a school-wide team to ensure students are consistently getting the same message, regardless of the settings they are in or the adults with whom they come into contact. Participants will engage with videos and hands-on activities to gain competency in this new approach to behavior management. Teams will work to develop school-wide behavioral expectations, design what those expectations look, feel, and sound like, and brainstorm a school-wide system of recognizing positive behaviors. An action plan of immediate next steps will be created so that participants can begin the implementation process as soon as they return to school.